Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Late Evening Birds

Dawn is always the best time for birding but despite its attractions it seems increasingly more difficult to get up with the larks. An extreme alternative on very hot days like today is to wait until an hour or so before sunset and then observe what the birds are doing.
In truth there was not a great deal of activity this evening as most birds had perhaps gone to roost but a cycle over the plains was rewarded by finding a group of five hoopoes feeding in a meadow. More precisely, four of them were while the fifth stayed apart and motionless on the ground. Perhaps he had already settled down for the night.
While watching them I heard the forlorn cry of a stone curlew and a scan of a nearby field revealed two individuals sitting quite still but in their case these crepuscular birds were doubtlessly waiting for near darkness before they began their feeding.
In fading light I passed by the bio farm and came across another motionless bird, this time a pied flycatcher perched on a dead branch. The insects he feeds on had probably settled down for the night and maybe he was already drifting into sleep.

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